Sunday, 25 Oct, 7.55 pm Deccan Herald

Punitive provisions can't check indecent remarks by politicians, says former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat


Former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Sunday expressed concern over the choice of words of leaders during speeches these days, in particular in the bypoll campaign underway in Madhya Pradesh for 28 Assembly seats.

The bypolls, scheduled for November 3, are seeing a bitter tussle between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress and the terms used include 'item", "lucha lafanga", "rakhail" etc.

"There are enough provisions in the model code of conduct and the People's Representation Act to deal with such indecent language. However, I am of the view that the use of such language cannot be checked by punitive provisions," Rawat told PTI.

He said politicians are usually banned for a few days for the use of unparliamentary words but such moves do not last long.

Rawat claimed politicians had lost the opportunity to gain knowledge in the age of social media and do not have the time to study new things.

"High standards in language should be promoted so that politicians can enhance their knowledge of basic issues and policies. This will be more effective and meaningful in the national interest," Rawat said.

He said politicians use such language to get media coverage, which they receive in the form of news headlines, while real issues get sidestepped.

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